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Rick Scott wants FAMU prez suspended over hazing issues

Gov. Rick Scott wants the president of Florida A&M University suspended amid multiple investigations spurred by a drum major's death.

Scott called the chairman of the FAMU board on Thursday and asked him to suspend James Ammons immediately, the administration reported. The board met last week and discussed suspending Ammons, but instead voted to publicly reprimand him. The board meets again Monday.

From Scott's communications director Brian Burgess:

"After returning from a trade mission to Israel today, Governor Scott was briefed by members of his senior staff regarding the latest developments in the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) investigations. Governor Scott has since had a conversation with FAMU Board of Trustees Chairman Solomon Badger regarding the Board’s meeting next Monday, Dec. 19.

"Governor Scott has strongly recommended to Chairman Badger that at the meeting, the Board of Trustees place FAMU President James Ammons on suspension, effective immediately, until the investigations at the University are completed. Governor Scott has also placed a call to FAMU President Ammons to personally notify him of these discussions."

It was Scott who ordered Florida's law-enforcement agency to join an investigation into the death of Marching 100 band member Robert Champion. He died following a FAMU football game last month and hazing is suspected in his death.

State law enforcement officials said earlier this week they have opened a second investigation into possible criminal violations dealing with the band's finances.

Scott's office says he called Ammons personally to tell him of his wishes.

-- Kim Wilmath

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